The 2010 Major League Baseball season came and went. I’ve been very ecstatic since my hometown San Francisco Giants won their first World Series title since moving to the Bay Area. But now that the season’s over, it’s time to predict winners for the MLB Awards.
Manager of the Year
Ron Washington (Texas Rangers) deserves to win for finally leading his team to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. While the team increased its win total from last season, having the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Oakland Athletics be very mediocre didn’t hurt.
Bruce Bochy (Giants) also deserves to win for keeping a very young Giants team in the competitive spirit while trailing the San Diego Padres for most of the season. It almost wasn’t meant to be with the horrible way ace Tim Lincecum pitched in August, but the entire pitching staff had an almost perfect September month and finally clinched the National League West on the last game.
Rookie of the Year
Sorry Neftali Feliz (Texas Rangers) and your 40 saves, but Austin Jackson’s (Tigers) 181 hits, .293 batting average, and 27 steals as the leadoff hitter sealed the deal.
Earlier, I stated that I was a Giants fan. Could picking Buster Posey be considered a bias? Perhaps, but only if you think that Jason Heyward (Atlanta Braves) really was the better rookie last year. Sure, Heyward’s .277 avg, 18 home runs, and 72 runs batted in have been often compared to Hank Aaron’s production at the same age, but consider Posey’s .305 avg, 18 HR, and 67 RBIs as catcher and in almost 100 fewer at-bats. Also consider Posey’s excellent handling of the pitching staff after taking over from Bengie Molina – remember September 2010 as one of the greatest pitching months from the Giants. No contest.
Cy Young Award
Felix Hernandez (Seattle Mariners) is last season’s Zack Greinke (Kansas City Royals). I’m Sorry C.C. Sabathia (New York Yankees) and David Price (Tampa Bay Rays), but Hernandez led the league in innings pitched, batting average against, and earned run average, while placing second in strikeouts (one less than Jared Weaver) and walks plus hits per inning pitched (0.06 more than Cliff Lee). Those numbers clearly outweigh his 13-12 record, especially for a guy that doesn’t read scouting reports.
Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals) should have to wait another year to win the Cy Young Award. The great Ubaldo Jimenez (Colorado Rockies) will have to wait too. Roy Halladay (Philadelphia Phillies) should win as the only pitcher of these three pitchers in the top three pitching categories of wins, ERA, and SO. Halladay also led the league in complete games (nine–four more than second place Wainwright) and shutouts (four–double tied for second place Wainwright).
No, I will not penalize Josh Hamilton (Rangers) for missing much of September due to injury. Despite missing those games, Hamilton was still among the league leaders in average (won the batting title by the way), HR, and RBI. Sorry Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) and your league-leading RBI total, but Hamilton’s slugging and on-base percentage plus slugging topped you.
Okay, Joey Votto (Cincinnati Reds) has less runs, hits, doubles, HR, RBI, and walks than Albert Pujols (Cardinals), but Votto has better numbers in triples, stolen bases, average, on-base percentage, slugging, and OPS. Plus, Votto had much impact to his Central Division-winning Reds, which will probably be the deciding factor to most voters.